Your landlord is responsible for most major repairs to your home if you rent privately. This includes: 

  • the structure of the property, for example walls, roof, windows and doors 
  • sinks, baths, toilets 
  • pipes and wiring 
  • heating and hot water, for example the boiler 
  • the safety of gas and electrical appliances 

You’ll be responsible for minor repairs, for example changing fuses and light bulbs. You’ll also have to fix anything you’ve damaged. You won’t be responsible for repairing damage caused by other people, for example vandalism. 

If your home is damp, your landlord might not be responsible. It depends on what type of damp it is – and what caused it. Read more about problems with damp. 


If your home isn’t safe for you to live in 

If your home isn’t safe to live in, it might be ‘unfit for human habitation’ – this includes shared parts of the building like entrance halls and stairs. 

Your landlord has to make sure your home is fit for human habitation. This applies to most types of tenancy – if your landlord doesn’t do this, contact your nearest Citizens Advice. 

Your home might be unfit for human habitation if for example: 

  • it has a serious problem with damp or mould 
  • it gets much too hot or cold 
  • there are too many people living in it 
  • it’s infested with pests like rats or cockroaches 
  • it doesn’t have a safe water supply 

It doesn’t matter if the problem was there at the start of the tenancy or only appeared later. 

Write to your landlord as soon as you notice a problem. You could be held responsible if it gets worse. It’s best to put it in writing – send it to your landlord and keep a copy yourself. 

If a letting agent manages the property for your landlord, write to them and they should talk to your landlord. The letting agent will be responsible for making sure your landlord does the repairs. 

You should get evidence of the problem, for example: 

  • photos of the damage, particularly if the problem gets worse over time 
  • any letters, texts, emails or notes of any conversations between you and your landlord or letting agent 
  • receipts if you’ve had to replace damaged items 
  • letters from your GP if the problem has made you ill 
  • a copy of your tenancy agreement 

Keep any evidence you’ve got – you might need it later if you have to take further action to get repairs done. 

Getting repairs done if you’re renting privately-  


If your landlord won’t do the repairs 

Keep paying your rent. If you don’t, you’ll get into rent arrears and your landlord might then try to evict you. 

You can complain about your landlord or complain about your letting agent if they won’t do the repairs. 

Your landlord can’t just end your tenancy because you’ve made a complaint – but they might try, especially if you’ve got an assured shorthold tenancy. 

Talk to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice if you’re worried about being evicted for making a complaint.